October 12

Villar de Mazarife to Astorga.  32km

Dark it was when I set out at 7am. I was quickly out of the village and onto a dead straight 6km stretch of road. I took a picture of the view along the road:Sorry. Couldn’t resist! The moon is not as bright now and I could make out Cassiopeia, Orion, the Pleaides and the Great Bear. I was going to bring a planisphere along to learn a few more constellations- but never did. 

After the 6km straight stretch there was another straight section;

The mountains to the north of me are called the Asturias. I could just see their outline to my right in the morning light. There is a well known classical guitar piece by Albéniz called Asturias. I listened to it as I paced along in the early morning light. It seemed most appropriate and fitting. You can listen to it here:

Through an old villagewith very strange pollarded trees

And across a very old bridge

As I walked over the far end of the bridge there were two dogs on the right on top of a garage roof and barking madly at me

The track went into some scrub

And look at that – a hill to walk up and some shade. Can you see the line of hills in the distance?

This is the remains of an adobe mud wall:

Looking back saying good bye to the Meseta:

Three trees:

The nature of the farming is slowly changing. Cows!!

Descending to Astorga. The Cathedral is in the centre but still an hours walk away. Tomorrow I will be in those skyline hills just above the Cathedral 

I found a little supermarket open even though it is a national holiday today. I bought some more dark chocolate with almonds and some fruit. The shopkeeper asked me where I was from and then spoke into his phone and got it to speak the English translation. He gave me a gift of a pear for the road and wished me well. I was impressed. 

Here is the Cathedral close up

With a very impressive entrance:

The museum has some lovely hand drawn manuscript books:

(They were facsimiles but I couldn’t tell.)

Astorga has a lovely feel to it. This was built as a bishops palace from plans by Antonio Gaudi.  It is now a museum to the Camino It was shut because of the holiday. So was the tourist office. There were a couple of wonderful murals on the ends of buildings. I wish I knew the story behind these. 

I wonder what tomorrow will bring….